Source: City warns urban farmers | The Herald April 30, 2019
Sallomy Matare Herald Reporter
Harare City Council is set to clampdown on residents carrying out agricultural activities on wetlands and verges.
Environment Management Committee chairperson councillor Kudzai Kadzombe said the city will allow farmers to harvest their crops, but would slash all crops which are planted on undesignated sites as from next season.
During the farming season, cases of robbery and other crimes increase as criminals take advantage of the maize along road verges and open spaces.
Clr Kadzombe expressed concern over the increase in urban agricultural activities which contravene council by-laws and warned farmers and seed companies against growing crops on undesignated land, saying it was causing siltation in water reservoirs and also endangering the lives of citizens.
“Our by-laws do not allow urban farming on side roads, verges, wetlands, along streams or river banks,” she said.
“It causes siltation in the water bodies that is why Lake Chivero has lost eight metres of its capacity.
“This is the last crop, next season we are slashing all crops which are being planted on undesignated farming areas.”
Clr Kadzombe said district offices have been assigned to allocate plots, urging all those interested in urban farming to ensure that they are given land by council.
“Our district offices have been instructed to allocate proper plots with correct sizes so that the cake can be spread to many people, anyone who wants to farm should apply for such land from council,” she said.
Clr Kadzombe said seed companies were the main perpetrators as they were advertising their brands through illegally planted crops.
“They put their banners along the road, next season we are slashing all that maize,” she said.
“The maize is causing lack of visibility on the road. We are going to remove every piece of maize. We appeal to seed companies to manage their brands better and not put their banners on road verges.
“We support urban agriculture as a city because it contributes to the household food sustenance.
“We have urban farmers, some who even sell to the GMB, so in terms of family food sustenance we support it, but only in designated sites.
“Urban farming does not mean farming outside your yards. Some go as far as doing it on road islands, for example along Arcturus Road.”